Tag: sewing 101

DIY Leopard Print Pencil Skirt and a Mini Announcement!

Hi Fashionistas!

Long time no see! I hope you enjoyed National Sewing Month last month and did a whole bunch of sewing. I did a decent amount of sewing, although I took a break from blogging.

I wanted to share one of my recent most projects with you. It is high waisted pencil skirt made in a thin scuba knit fabric I found at Joann’s Fabric last simmer. I remember falling in love with the fabric and purchasing the entire bolt.

This was made without a pattern because it really is that simple of a garment. This was a 20-minute project but has been so useful. I have worn this skirt at least 4 times in the last month.

I paired the skirt with this ruffled tank I made last year

Here is the fabric:

I did not use a pattern but I traced around this skirt I already own and LOVE.

The skirt was so easy to sew.  I have only side seams which I serged up in no time. The bottom hem was serged then stitched.

Here is the back view.

And now for my mini announcement:

 

There’s a little munchkin in this belly! I’m going to be a mamma again!

These pics were taken about a month ago! I am just now getting the energy to blog about it!

I have so many garments I made that I have not shared on the blog yet. Some are from the summer, and some from just last month. I’ll try to play catch up here soon now that I am feeling better. Know that I have missed you, my sewing friends. I have recently cleared off my drafting table and starting downsizing my studio. I am trying to give away fabric and notions I don’t use to my students and keep on hand just what I need for the next few projects.  At least that is my hope.

I’m currently teaching sewing with knits at school and it has been such a fun class to teach! I’ll share some student projects with you over the quarter!

Take care and I’ll see you with my next sewing project!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Tailored Denim Shorts- Simplicity 8391 Review

HI, Fashionistas!

Happy end of summer! Hope you had a lovely summer and are enjoying cooler temps! My kid started pre school this week and I am REALLY enjoying the structure that comes with drop offs and pick-ups and planning my day around it.

So I am hoping to catch up on sharing some summer sewing projects with you. One of my favorite makes this summer was this pair of tailored shorts. They are so simple yet so chic. Sometimes easy projects can be so rewarding to make.

I have always wanted tailored shorts made in denim, a dressy pair of shorts if you will. So here is what I came up with based on my inspiration picture 🙂 I am recommending some pressing tools towards the end of the post if you want to go for a more tailored look on your garments. 

How do you plan your sewing projects? Do you browse patterns on sale, and get inspired based on what you see in the pattern catalogs, or do you look for a pattern to match your inspiration picture or your sketch? I typically tend to find my inspiration from people watching or Pinterest, and then go hunting for the perfect pattern that can either be sewn out of the envelope or modified to match my inspiration picture.

Here is my inspiration picture

It was not too hard to find a pattern for these shorts, I needed to look for a pattern that has a slant pocket so that I could add the gold shank buttons like my inspiration picture. I found Simplicity 8391 view D.

I wanted my shorts to have slightly more wearing ease than the inspiration picture. I also wanted them to be slightly longer.  I did make a muslin to get the fit perfected, but other than that, I did not need to make any pattern alterations. I cut the size 6, which was larger on the hips.  After I made the muslin and tried them on, I ended up removing ½ inch from the side seams.

For the fabric, I chose a denim that had 1% spandex in it. Personally, I like to work with wovens that have a small amount of stretch. In my opinion, it makes the fitting easier because you have some flexibility when the fabric has some stretch.  My happy place is 1% to 2 % of spandex in the fiber content of the fabric.

Here are some more pictures of the shorts

Loving the slant pockets.

Here is the back and side view:

And a view from the side 🙂

 

Sewing Tips

Here are some sewing tips I would like to offer when making a tailored pair of shorts:

  • Use pressing tools to get that crisp look on seams, edges, and hems. I like to use a tailors clapper and press cloth to get defined, crisp seams. I have described both the tools below:
  • Tailors Clapper: I like to use a tailor’s clapper .When pressing my seams. A clapper is made of wood and it helps to seal in the heat and the steam from the iron and gives you that impeccably tailored look!
  • Press Cloth: While pressing, I like to use a press cloth and give the seams a good amount of heat and steam while pressing. A press cloth will help eliminate shine and protect your fabric. I like to use a sheer press cloth so I can see what I am pressing, but a scrap piece of muslin will do too!
  • Gravity Feed Iron: I am going to list this one as “optional” only because while you don’t need to invest in a gravity feed iron, it a gravity feed iron is definitely a professional tailors iron. A good domestic iron with steam when combined with a clapper and press cloth will also elevate your sewing, but put if you can add this to your sewing room, I HIGHLY recommend it. They are very sturdy and can last you 5 to 10 years!
  • Sewing Shank buttons: When sewing on shank buttons, you can stabilize them by sewing a small two hole or four hole button on the back. You would loop your thread through both the buttons. This will prevent the shank buttons from drooping. I used shank buttons with a 3/4 inch diameter on the front and four hole buttons with a 1/2 inch diameter in the back.

Simplicity 8391 Pattern Review and Suggestions

This pattern is easy and simple to use.  The instructions were pretty clear and straightforward. I noticed that the shorts instructions did not include applying the waistband, so you will need to refer to the skirt instructions (view B) on applying the waistband.

While making the muslin I also realized that it was best for me to replace the pocket facing fabric with a thinner cotton in a similar color as the fashion fabric. Once I had attached the pocket and pocket facing to the shorts front, that was 3 layers of fabric. Once the short front was attached to the shorts back, that was 4 layers of fabric and was noticeably bulky. So when I cut the actual fabric, I cut the pocket facing in a dark blue cotton sateen as opposed to the fashion fabric. I am glad I did that!

Overall, I am pretty pleased with this pattern, and now that I have the fit perfected, I will probably trace this pattern onto thicker pattern paper and hang it up on a garment rack for re-use!

I hope that you found this pattern review helpful and enjoyed reading this post! What has been your favorite summer make and what are you planning for the fall? I am planning on doing a lot of cardi’s and lose coats for the fall/ winter. I have pretty much decided that my uniform for fall is going to be black and denim and I plan to sew more outerwear.. but more on that later.. 

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

Saturday Night Sewing

Greetings Fashionistas!

I am in my happy place right now. Really- I am writing you from my sewing ma-sheen 🙂 This is where I am the happiest, this is where I feel 18 years young again. As if I don’t have a care in the world. Nothing matters when I am here. Just my music, my fabric, my machine.

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I haven’t been sewing in the past couple weeks (Boo!). Why?!! What’s wrong with me? Have I really been doing dishes and cooking dinner all week?  Actually, I didn’t do much this week. I just slowed down. So I have nothing to show for. And that is OK. I enjoyed my week. I enjoyed my daughter. I enjoyed a guilt-free cheeseburger with fries, a coke and washed it down with a milkshake. That is so unlike me.. but it was the best thing I have “eated” in a while :)))

Do you ever complete a 10-minute project and not only get that hit of dopamine, but also a new addition to your wardrobe? This sweater was a size L Bebe sweater. I am a size S, but I had to have it. So I purchased it knowing that it would sit in my studio for years before I got to it. It was a simple 5-minute alteration.

I tried the sweater on, eyeballed it and decided I need to take in an inch on the sleeves and the side seams. Pretty simple. I have previously explained this in a tutorial HERE. It literally took 5 minutes.

Here is the sweater after…

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Here is the before.

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To take it in, I did one continuous stitch starting at the wrist, all the way up the sleeve, and then down the side seam. I took in about an inch on each side. It’s the same method I explained HERE

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I ended up using Sergio (my serger). I haven’t used him in a while since I’ve started using my industrial for knits. Mainly because I sew with stable knits most of the time.

The fit is not bad. It needs to be belted.. or “brooched” since there is no closure.

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I love this cardi! I plan on wearing her to Church tomorrow.. with a black pencil skirt. I wore something similar to Christmas Ever service 2 years ago. Geez.. where does the time go?!!!

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Anyhooz.. I hope you are guys are well and enjoying December! I’ll post pics soon of the final look!!! Have  a wonderful weekend!

 

XO-Vatsla

 

 

DIY Animal Print Dress – TNT Mccalls M6886

Hi, Fashionistas!!

Happy Friday! Here is another one of my fall DIY dresses. I whipped up another quick version of TNT McCalls M6886, also known as the easiest knit pattern in the sewing community.

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I made view C, which I have made  a few times before. I elongated the hem by a few inches.

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Here is the view from the back. I did add a CB seam (the pattern does not call for it), but it always helps to get a better fit. Instead of cutting the back “Cut 1 on fold”, I cut 2, adding a CB Seam allowance.

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I made this dress fitted but not super fitted. I paired it with a collarless cape with arm slits for colder days.

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I so love the style lines on this cape.

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Read below for more details on this DIY:

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PATTERN: I used TNT McCalls M6886, view C and added a few inches to the hem.

SEWING:

Super easy. I used this easy technique to attach the sleeves. There are only 3 pattern pieces on this dress: Front, sleeve, back. I did all the hemming with a cover stitch.

 FABRIC: Double knit I purchased on Etsy many moons ago.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and I hope this inspires you to sew and make something for yourself. See you next time and until then. Happy Sewing :)

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Behind The Seams: Pleats 101

Hi Fashionistas!!! Hope you are well..

I have received a few questions about how to calculate the yardage need to create pleated skirts.. Before i get into that subject, I wanted to address pleats on a more basic level.. This is a sewing 101 tutorial of sorts, geared towards the beginner sewist, or someone who wants to brush up on their sewing jargon 🙂

I’ll be showing you examples of the following:

  • Pleats (Read below)
  • Box Pleats vs Inverted Box Pleats (Tutorial coming soon)

I’ll start with a definition, then a visual aid. I will also show you how to construct them.

Lets start off by looking at pictures of each.  Here are some pleats I free handed on these sleeves :

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Let’s have a look at some more pleats. This dress below has pleats on the neckline.

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And here is another one with pleats

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To learn more about what a pleat is and how to sew one, read below.

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Simply put, a pleat is fabric folded on itself. That’s it. Let’s have a look.

Here is a muslin sample of a pleat. One single pleatIMG_1446

If the fabric were flat, it would look like this. I have color coded this for you in blue and red, so you can see the parts that disappear in the fold of the fabric once the fabric is folded.

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After being folded, the red portion would be concealed in the fold.

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From the bottom, the pleat would look like this:

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On a pattern, a pleat is usually shown with a combination of a circle, squares or notches and a directional arrow showing you which direction the fabric needs to be folded.I do my pattern making per the industry standards for apparel production, therefore I use the notches for the pleats. You will see my pattern further into this post.

Here is an example of what you might see on a ready made pattern . This used circles, dotted lines and a directional arrow.

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Now that you have the theory down, lets move on to the construction.

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I have a muslin sample here . I have transferred the markings from the paper pattern. We have 2 notches and 1 directional arrow. We shall call these notches A and B. Note that the arrow is pointing in the direction of B. This means that when we construct the pleat, we need to make notch A meet notch B. In other words, the pleat will be facing notch B. You can also think of it this way. Notch B is stationary, and notch A is moving to meet Notch B. Make sense? Now lets see this is action

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Pinch the notch A and make it meet notch B

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Secure the pleat down with a pin, catching all three layers of fabric. Then do a basting stitch close to the edge of the fabric to secure the pleat in place and remove the pin. Voila! You have a pleat!

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While you can make pleats like I showed you above, I am going to show you my preferred method of making pleats, because sometimes the pleats can tend to shift, especially if you are using slippery fabrics. So if you are working with slippery fabrics or want a more tailored look, use the method below. This is the one I recommend, but itrequiress more effort, so I wanted to show you quick method as well.

We will start with the same notches A and B

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Then instead of pinching the notch A, fold the fabric such that notch A overlaps notch B, with the right sides of the fabric together. You are essentially picking up notch A and placing it exactly on top of notch B

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Secure the pleats by placing a pin in the fabric about 1/2 inch away from the notches.

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Then take it to the machine and stitch down 1/2 inch on the notches and also backstitch 1/2 to secure the pleat down. This step will ensure that your pleats stay in place.

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Next, press the folded edge

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Then lift the fabric and fold it away from the notches as shown in pic below.

At this point, your pleat is done!

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You can press the pleat down just a little bit on the top if you want more poofy pleats…

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Or you can press the pleats all the way down if you like..

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Let me know if you want the paper pattern available for download so you can do a practice run. I can scan it and upload is here.

That’s it, folks! I will leave you with this inspiration picture. What can pleats do for you?! 🙂

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In the next tutorial, I will cover box pleats… as seen on this skirt.

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Have a lovely day! Talk to you soon!

XOXO

Vatsla. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Tulle Skirt Sew Along Announcement and Pattern Giveaway!

On Sunday night, I was working on a supply list for a tulle skirts tutorial I am working on, and it occurred to me… why not host a sew along? I remember many years ago, I wanted to make a three-tier tulle skirt (it’s still on my bucket list). Back then I did not have the confidence to make garments. I looked everywhere for an easy to follow tutorial and didn’t find anything that satisfied me. Some were much better than others, but the finishing always confused me.. I was overall just intimidated by handling tulle..

Since then I attended fashion school, completed an internship and have made a quite a few tulle skirts, like the hot pink one featured here…Once we are done with the sew-along, you will know how to make one of these skirts below!

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This one shown below that I made last-minute for a friends photo shoot

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

In this sew along, you can learn how to:

  • Gather tulle the easy way (no pulling strings or using dental floss to gather!)
  • pattern selection, taking measurements and adjusting the pattern to fit
  • sew and press seams, and sew a circle skirt from start to finish
  • Apply a straight waistband
  • Install an invisible zipper
  • Finishing technique – stitch in the ditch
  • Finishing technique- how to hem a circular skirt

You can then re-use these techniques in making other garments and make all types of skirts! For example, if you learn how to apply a waist band on this skirt, you can apply a waist band on shorts and pants! If you learn how to apply a zipper on this skirt, you can apply a zipper on any garment! This project will not only build your skill set, but also your sewing confidence!

The Sew Along start date is September 1st. I will publish a supply list on Tuesday September `1st , so you have one week to get your supplies before we jump into cutting and sewing on Tuesday September 8th!

When I publish a supply list, I will also publish a schedule for the sew along. Based on your skill level, you might be able to jump ahead. In general, we will follow this schedule:

TIMETABLE /SCHEDULE

Part 1: Supply list along pattern suggestions

Part 2: Prep and cut pattern, gather tulle

Part 3: Sewing up majority of the Skirt

Part 4: Sewing and attaching the waist band

Part 5: Finishing techniques (Zipper and heming)

FACEBOOK GROUP:

I have set up a Facebook group for the sew along. This will be a place for Q&A, posting pictures of our progress, sharing inspiration pics and of course proudly modelling our final skirts! You can follow the sew along by either subscribing to my blog here or connecting with me and others in the Facebook group. You can join the FB group HERE

PATTERN GIVEAWAY!

Since different pattern companies and fabric stores have pattern sales at different times, I wanted to go ahead make a few pattern suggestion. You can use any circle skirt pattern really. Here are some suggestions: Simplicty 1200 , Mccalls M7197. You can use any circle skirt pattern instead. Just remember that we will be making a midi length and I suggest something that has a straight waist band, two side seams and a centre back seam. Lets keep it simple! I will be using Mccalls M719 to make my tulle skirt.

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I also have three extra Mccalls M7197 patterns that I will be giving away today. I have two in the size 14-22 range and one in the size 6 to 14 range. So if you are interesting in winning this pattern for the sew along, all you have to do to enter the giveaway is a leave a comment below with which size you would like to win. You can enter now through August 24th. Three winners will be announced August 25th!

I can’t wait to sew along with you. Hope to see you soon!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

 

 

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